Sara Jones is an Associate Professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Nursing and Specialty Coordinator of the only psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program in Arkansas. She is a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and currently serves on the American Psychiatric Nurses Association Board of Directors.
Dr. Jones’ research aims at developing a tailored mental health service model for first responders that mitigates barriers, increases access and engagement, and improves their overall mental health. Her program of researcher is the first nurse investigator study on this topic, designated as high program priority by the National Institute of Mental Health. Through local and national dissemination to mental healthcare providers and first responders, findings have already influenced practice by guiding culturally competent, evidence-based interventions for this at-risk population. With continued efforts, findings can impact policies to recognize the mental health consequences of the profession as “duty-related injuries” and necessitate funding at state levels to include delivery of mental health services to all first responders. Dr. Jones has also translated findings into her own practice as a psychiatric nurse practitioner. She founded Journey Wellness Clinic in 2019, where she provides trauma-informed advanced nursing care to varying populations and has become an advocate and resource for first responders across Arkansas.
Dr. Jones received her BSN and PhD at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Nursing, where she also completed post-graduate studies to become board-certified as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.